gambling gallivant

Follow me while I attempt to fund my world travels with gambling profits!

August 2018 Review – $5,245.58 ($42,021.96 turnover)

It finally happened! Bet365 has restricted my account and made my maximum bet $5. I actually have no idea why I lasted so long. If you don’t use Bet365, get…

It finally happened! Bet365 has restricted my account and made my maximum bet $5. I actually have no idea why I lasted so long. If you don’t use Bet365, get on them, they are by far the most profitable site in Australia. They don’t advertise their promotions very well, so some of you may not realise how good they are. Their SP Guaranteed promotion is available on every race that has official SP odds. This is great when following Probet as if the horse drifts, you get the starting price rather than the fixed odds. That alone made me an extra few thousand a year.

Due to being banned, plus Probet taking a two week holiday, my turnover was only $42,021.96 in August. I did make a tidy $5,245.58 during the month, mainly from Probet killing it. It felt like a really slow month for gambling as I placed so few bets and watched hardly any games. This will be a fairly short post this month, as I’m in Italy and travelling quite quickly. Too much to eat, drink and do to spend my days blogging.

 TurnoverProfit/LossPOT
Totals $42,021.96$5,245.5812.48%
AFL - Tipstar Tips $6,785.00 -$347.00-5.1%
NRL - Sportpunter Tips $2,542.57 -$577.40-22.7%

Horse Racing - Probet Tips $9,335.00 $5,345.15 57.3%
Golf - Swingform $4,279.00 $861.00 20.1%
Darts - ontheoche $3,975.33 -$860.85-21.7%
AFL - non-tip Bets $6,870.45 -$284.70-4.1%
NRL - non-tip Bets $7,584.61 $1,214.38 16.0%
Horse racing - non-tip bets $650.00 -$105.00-16.2%

Gambling Profit for August 2018

Tipster Bets

As discussed, Probet is running hot. Swingform keeps performing well but despite making money, I still don’t know whether golf is going to be part of my long-term betting strategy. It’s making money and I’ve signed up for the year, so there’s no questioning it now. I missed a lot of NRL Sportpunter tips due to the timing of the release. So my results don’t reflect the official results, but I doubt it has been a great year. Ontheoche is slightly down for the year, but I have a high level of confidence in him as a tipster.

AFL Tipstar is questioning the future of the service after this season. I think it’s a shame to throw in the towel after one bad season. I’m on board for next season despite now being in loss territory for the year. Every year can’t be a winner. Although, I might change the way I follow their tips next year if they do continue the service. I find the totals over/under to be much better than their line/H2H predictions. They have an uncanny ability for predicting game day weather far in advance of the odds adjusting. The odds for their line/H2H tips often don’t beat the final odds, which is an indicator that the tips aren’t hugely profitable.

If you’re looking for tipsters to follow, don’t forget I’ve reviewed these tipsters and others.

 Turnover 2018 (all time)Profit / Loss 2018 (all time)POT 2018 (all time)
AFL Tipstar $34,208.00 -$305.31-0.9%
NRL Sportpunter $25,554.57

$988.17


3.9%


Swingform $15,248.56
$3,021.04


19.8%


Ontheoche $12,208.33

-$42.22

-0.3%

Probet $115,719.04
($260,120.16)

$12,153.74
($29,917.95)
10.5%
(11.5%)

Backpacking the world with gambling profits

In August, my partner and I travelled through Bosnia, Croatia and Italy. Croatia has become a tourist hotspot over the last decade and it tells. All the menus are almost identical along the coast and the cost is the same as being in Italy. Dubrovnik was actually one of the most expensive cities I’ve ever visited. If you want to visit, maybe wait until the Game of Thrones mania has ended (they film much of the series there and I saw probably 100 Game of Thrones tour groups). Whilst there are some nice spots in Croatia, the cost and the crowds just spoiled it for me. I did enjoy the Istrian coast as it was slightly less touristy and the wine was fantastic. Bosnia is still struggling from the war and most of their tourist attractions still surround the war i.e. war museums, bunkers and tunnels. Once you’ve wrapped your head around the war, there’s not much to do and the food is pretty average. It’s an easy detour to reach Bosnia whilst travelling in Croatia and it was cheap so I’d say it was worth a few days.

Italy is easily one of my favourite countries to visit. In August we went through Trieste, Udine, Venice, Verona, Milan and Lake Como. So many Aperol Spritzs on piazzas I’ve lost count. Travelling this fast comes at a cost and we aren’t paying much attention to expense through Italy. We’re going on wine tours and eating in Michelin starred restaurants occasionally. So I don’t expect to be able to cover my current travels fully with gambling for the moment. If you were backpacking (rather than flashpacking) around then that would be a different story. In the next month, we’ll be travelling from Northern Italy down to Sicily.

NBA is starting at the end of this month, however, Sportpunter has stated on his website that NBA tips will only be available through Daily Profit this year. Not sure why. I’m currently getting money onto Asianodds (read my AsianConnect88 review on how to get money on) in preparation for NBA tipping. The totals betting in the past has been extremely profitable.

Graph of gambling winnings vs travel expenses

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Four of the Best Casinos in the World

This post is not about making money, it’s about having fun losing money! I love the odd casino visit: there’s something about the night’s unlimited potential I find really enticing. As…

This post is not about making money, it’s about having fun losing money! I love the odd casino visit: there’s something about the night’s unlimited potential I find really enticing. As good as a casino can be, the worst casinos are really depressing. I’ve been to 40 countries and wanted to share some of my favourite casinos around the world.

My criteria for a good casino is simply a wide selection of table games at reasonable odds where people are enjoying themselves. The last thing I want is a smokey room filled with superstitious baccarat players drinking tea and keeping to themselves. Anyone who thinks a trip to the casino is a money-making venture is simply a loser! Literally and figuratively.

These are my personal opinions, unlike the majority of casinos posts on the web, which I’m fairly confident the writer has never stepped foot in the casinos. I still have a few gambling meccas to go, namely Atlantic City and Macau, so maybe there’ll be a part 2 someday.

Bally’s – Colombo, Sri Lanka.

☑ Free drinks.
☑ Free food.
☑ Low table minimums. $1 roulette.
☑ Free chauffeur back to your hotel.
☒ The atmosphere could be much better.
☒ Table games limited to blackjack, roulette and baccarat. No craps.
☒ No restaurants, pools etc.

It’s hard to believe, but Sri Lanka has some fun casinos. They make this list because they’re fun with no pretentiousness. They don’t have the glitz of Vegas casinos, but they have something else… unadulterated degen fun. Sri Lanka’s top casinos are MGM Grand, The Bellagio and Bally’s: I’m not kidding. International copyright rules don’t seem to be applicable, as they have no affiliation to their Vegas namesakes.

My personal experience

I was in Colombo in 2013 and was served devilled chicken on the felt while playing $1 dollar roulette. No shit! Free cocktails, beers and a complimentary buffet dinner in their restaurant. One of the biggest surprises came when we were leaving, we were about to catch a rickshaw when the attendant ran up to us and exclaimed: “Sir, did you gambled with us? We’ll chauffeur you home”. I walked out $200 USD up, full of cocktails and food and was driven home.

It’s not going to be the wild times of Vegas, but if you’re in Sri Lanka, definitely have a night in their casinos. The table games have reasonable odds and you’ll end up stuffed with delicious food, plied with alcohol and chauffered home.

Similar Casinos

MGM Grand appears to have closed, but The Bellagio is still open and offers a similar experience from all accounts.

Picture of Downtown, Las Vegas.

Las Vegas Downtown

Golden Nugget – Downtown Las Vegas, USA.

☑ Free drinks.
☑ Low table minimums.
☑ Great table odds.
☑ It’s fun! The bikini-clad croupiers cycle between dancing and dealing in the party pit. I would normally put this in the negative list as it sounds like a horrible sleazy experience but in Vegas…
☑ Slide through a shark tank into a pool!
☒ Not a glamorous place, if you didn’t get that idea from the part about bikini croupiers.

Ever wanted to slide down through a shark tank, wade over and have a bet at a swim-up craps table? You can in Downtown Las Vegas. Downtown used to be Vegas before big money came in and built along “The Strip”. The odds are easily the best in town; some of the casinos let you place 5x or 10x behind the win line at craps (which is basically breakeven). Downtown is where you go for value for money entertainment or when you’ve lost any semblance of a classy night out and are ready to take it to the next stage.

My personal experience

I went to the Golden Nugget twice the last time I was in Vegas. Once for a recovery session by the pool, obviously with some swim-up gambling. The other time was after 10 hours of drinking when we wanted to kick on. The strip is very spread out, which can make switching venues a little challenging, but it’s easy to get around Downtown. You can even zip line down the street.

Similar Casinos

There are a lot of Downtown casinos with good doubling rules for blackjack and 5-10x win lines on crap. I can recommend The D as another archetypical Downtown casino.

Slide through the shark tank at The Golden Nugget

Slide through the shark tank at The Golden Nugget

Crown – Melbourne, Australia.

☑ Good atmosphere.
☑ Good restaurants, sports bars and cocktail bars.
☑ Good selection of table games. Craps!
☒ Decreased odds on tables with lower minimum bets e.g. double zero on $5 roulette.
☒ No free drinks.

Crown is a good cross section of Melburnians. People actually go there for a good time, unlike Star City in Sydney which focuses on ‘serious’ gamblers or drunk guys. If you hit there’s a great selection of restaurants to throw some cash around. They generally have fun dealers and a few sassy old craps croupiers. No free drinks which is disappointing, but that’s not their fault as it’s banned by Australian law.

My personal experience

I’ve had a lot of fun at Crown over the years, especially after Crown bought Betezy. It was quite easy to get gold status membership from my regular online betting. Every bet I made on horse racing or sports would get me Crown dollars… and they add up! One of the benefits of being a gold member is free drinks in their gold room. With my Crown dollars, I spent thousands of essentially free dollars on dinners at Heston, Rockpool and Nobu. So maybe I’m a bit biased, but I do honestly believe it’s up there with other great casinos worldwide.

Similar Casinos

I haven’t been to Jupiters on the Gold Coast in over 15 years, but I have fond memories.

Bally’s – Las Vegas, USA.

☑ Free drinks. Quick service.
☑ Low table minimums.
☑ A level of class, but not enough that it affects the drinks service or raises the minimum bet.
☑ Good pool. Good location on the strip.
☒ Actually, I can’t think of anything.

Las Vegas is Disneyland for adults. I’ve been to Vegas twice, the second time with my girlfriend. It was a slightly different experience, but equally awesome. Anything goes in Vegas. You can tell if it’s someone’s first night in Vegas by how dressed up they are. Vegas may look classy from afar, but it’s far from classy. The second night you’ll walk into a ritzy casino in flip-flops (thongs in Australian slang) and a singlet, double fisting $1 street beers and nobody bats an eyelid. Many of the famous glamorous casinos aren’t great casinos in my opinion. Blackjack minimum bets in The Bellagio is often $25 compared to $5 at Bally’s. The drink service at The Bellagio or Cesears is painfully slow. Your money and time are better spent at casinos like Flamingo, The Mirage or Bally’s.

My personal experience

I remember waking up after only a few hours sleep struggling to pull on my jeans: the pockets were full of chips. I remembered winning a few dollars, partying with a bunch of people I randomly met, but I still can’t remember how I won over $1500 USD. This was only the start of a weekend rivalling The Hangover. Beware of staying in Vegas too long though: I felt like my soul had been crushed by a train as I was waiting in the airport to leave.

Similar Casinos

As mentioned, The Mirage and Flamingo are a lot of fun. The drink service in these casinos is also top notch. The Venetian, I’m told is in a similar vein, but I must confess to only walking through and not gambling. I know, I’m also shocked.

Roof of The Venetian

The roof of The Venetian

Tips for getting the most out of your casino trips

  • Don’t go too often. Casinos are fun in small doses, making a habit of losing money will quickly get expensive.
  • Learn how to play craps. Everyone wins when you win, so it makes for a fun communal game.
  • If you’re in Vegas, avoid the ritzy casinos like The Bellagio or Caesars. Drink service is poor and the atmosphere is lame.
  • Tip more on your first drink for better service and more top shelf liquor. I recommend that for the first drink you tip the waitress $3-5, smile, and say “thanks”. You don’t need to be crude and say “come back often”. They know how this works.

Gambling in other countries?

The Good but not great: Chile, Costa Rica and New Zealand.

The Bad: Nepal, South Korea, Panama, anywhere in the Balkans and Greece.

Feel free to list your favourite casinos in the comments section. Hopefully one day soon I’ll get the chance to go there myself.

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July 2018 Review – $12,924.86 ($66,592.36 turnover)

I’m sure many readers think that I’m on a fool’s errand: that’s it’s not possible to make enough money gambling to fund backpacking around the world. Hopefully, this month goes…

I’m sure many readers think that I’m on a fool’s errand: that’s it’s not possible to make enough money gambling to fund backpacking around the world. Hopefully, this month goes some way to convincing people that it is possible to make decent money gambling. I’m not particularly skilled in any way, anyone can do what I’m doing i.e. utilise other people’s talents (tipsters) and bookmakers’ promotions. The majority fail for one of two reasons: they can’t handle losing periods or they can’t limit themselves to bets that are +ev. Don’t be one of those people.

Enough lecturing, I had a good month. I made $12,924.86 from a turnover of $66,592.36. The headline act of the month was Probet, but almost all facets of my gambling in July were profitable. It’s in my top 5 best months; the best was November last year when I nailed Rekindling in the Melbourne Cup and made $8,0000 from that day alone. I’m looking forward to Melbourne Cup this year as I’m planning an even more sizable bet.

 TurnoverProfit/LossPOT
Totals $66,592.36$12,924.86
19.4%
AFL - Tipstar Tips $9,451.00
-$439.74

-4.7%
NRL - Sportpunter Tips $3,505.00 $1,188.60
33.9%
Horse Racing - Probet Tips $15,140.00
$6,926.75
45.8%
Golf - Swingform $3,293.56

$831.44
25.2%
Darts - ontheoche $3,212.00

$748.06
23.3%

AFL - non-tip Bets $16,141.80 $546.65

3.4%
NRL - non-tip Bets $13,995.00 $2,480.60
17.7%

Horse racing - non-tip bets $850.00 $642.50

75.6%

Gambling Profit for July 2018

Tipster Bets

It felt like Probet couldn’t miss a tip if he tried in July. Last year he had a slow start to the year and came home strong in the latter half. Unfortunately for anyone who isn’t a member, Probet is now closed to new members. In the past, occasionally his tips would move the market significantly, but more often than not, the odds were attainable within 30 minutes quite easily. This last month, it seems that members are moving the market noticeably. Setting aside long shots, which quickly cause uneven books and big price drops (an uneven book is a situation where bookmakers have too much money on a single horse), more tips than usual are being crunched. I’m not ruling out it being a coincidence, but it appears that Probet may be a victim of his own success. With the wins, existing members are increasing bets, new members are joining, bookmakers are taking notice. If I was in Australia and missed the odds, I’d set an alarm for 5 minutes before the race and place the horse on Betfair if the odds had come back out. Being a responsible tipster, Probet has closed membership, so if you’re interested, I suggest you go on the waiting list ASAP.

Swingform had a solid month as did ontheoche. Both nearly had great months with some big winners just missing. Midway through the month, I decided to increase my ontheoche staking to $450 a point ($350 if taking minimum odds and $550 if I beat his odds). I also added a review of ontheoche during the month. After this week’s results for Swingform, I realised I was missing some weekly tips. I got in touch with Peter who told me to check my web browser. My Chrome Adblock extension was causing me to miss tips, so if you’re following Swingform whitelist the Swingform page. I also did something I thought I would never do… I watched golf (and darts). This has prompted a self-ban on watching anything but AFL. The tips win or lose regardless of whether I’m watching and I want to use my time for more productive pursuits. I now only check results once every morning and update my bet sheet.

AFLTipstar sent a worrying email during the month. They wrote they aren’t getting the results they want, so they’ll deviate from the model where required. I’m fine with losing money following tips, but I want to hear from the tipster reassurances that the model works and it’s just variance. I understand that model need to evolve as the game evolves, but deviating mid-season is highly dubious. There aren’t enough bets to say that we aren’t simply experiencing variance and the model is profitable as its shown in previous years. They have also begun using Betfair odds as the recorded odds for some bets. I alone can use up the market on Betfair as the depth is generally pretty low (and I’m not betting that much). The previous model was using Topsport which was very generous. I’d rather a tipster have historic 2% POT and know that I get a better POT with the minimum being 2%. It’s a better approach than quoting unattainable odds as I don’t know what POT I’ll get in practice. Tipsters can cop a lot of unwarranted flak from members who can’t handle a losing period, but they need to have the mettle to stay the course in hard times.

 Turnover 2018 (all time)Profit / Loss 2018 (all time)POT 2018 (all time)
AFL Tipstar $27,423.00

$41.69

0.2%

NRL Sportpunter $23,012.00
$1,565.57
6.8%
Swingform $10,969.56
$2,160.04

19.7%

Ontheoche $8,233.00

$818.63
9.9%
Probet $106,384.04
($250,785.16)

$6,808.59
($24,572.8)
6.4%
(9.79%)

Personal and Promo Betting

Anyone who still has the “up by 24” (AFL) or “up by 12” (NRL) promos and isn’t making the most of them are crazy. So many hits during July; I only have one side of the promo, I still made over $2,500. If I had more than one site available, I would have made more than double that figure. I also bet out the free bets I mentioned last month from Topbetta’s “No Loss Saturday”. I had to bet the free bets on Australian horse racing and it’s on at the wrong time for me to be bothered laying the bets for a guaranteed profit, so I chucked on a lot of $50 bets and hit enough to make $642.50.

What’s been happening in the world of betting

There were two events of interest in July. Firstly, Crownbet announced that it was merging with Williamhill under the brand Beteasy. If you feel some déjà vu, rightly so, since Crownbet was called Betezy before Crown took a stake. Crown has sold its stake to The Stars Group who also recently acquired Williamhill. I don’t know what the new site will look like, but I’m very curious. Williamhill drops its odds by 15% when I log onto their site. I’m sure they’ve done it to most successful gamblers. I’m promo banned on Crownbet, but not bet limited, so I’m keen to know if the amalgamation will cause me problems.

The other interesting news of the month was that Racing Australia now has the power to seize laptops and mobile devices of anyone working in the racing industry. Racing Australia is peeved that trainers and industry professionals aren’t using their Australian markets for insider betting. It’s not illegal for trainers or people involved with a horse or the industry to place bets (with the exception of jockeys), but Racing Australia wants their cut. If trainers use illegal offshore bookmakers then Racing Australia makes $0. You may have heard of Citibet, word floats around gambling circles in hushed tones. Citibet is a Hong Kong based illegal betting company that works in a similar way to Betfair, except you don’t take odds, you place your bets based on discounts to the Tote. For example, I may offer a 16% discount to the Tote on Rosehill R6 for horse 3. You accept the bet, if horse 3 wins, I’ll pay you the Tote price plus 16% (minus agent fees). The Australian Tote odds reflect the horse’s percentage of bets in the money pool plus a margin of about 20%. If you place a large bet on a horse on the Tote, you drive the odds down and get paid less money. With Citibet, you place bets without inversely affecting the Tote pool, you can also do it anonymously.

The other unique thing about Citibet is that it’s all done on credit. No money is used when betting, you use an agent who is ultimately responsible for your bet. The agent is responsible to Citibet (or their agent). Citibet collects or pays money at the end of every week based on the sum of your bets. If an agent or client doesn’t pay? Well, I don’t really know, all you ever hear when the question is asked is: “everyone pays!”. I’m not a member as I have no use in parimutuel betting (the Totes), but if you do have a profitable system for betting the Totes, then Citibet is something you would want to look into. It’s interesting though that trainers are disguising their bets. Obviously, you could use Citibet to place bets against your own horse as well. Laying your own horse is actually illegal, however, I doubt Racing Australia will find much. The industry will need to be a bit more careful with its shadier dealings though.

Backpacking the world with gambling profits

If you want a really cheap holiday, I recommend Albania. The beaches in the south are on par with many Greek beaches. The people are friendly and a pint of beer cost about $1.50 in a bar. Tirana has one of the best ‘museums’ I’ve ever been to – a five-storey bunker which played creepy bunker sounds as you walked through. Albania was paranoid about nuclear or chemical attacks; they had built 168,000 bunkers (one for every 11 people) by the end of communist rule in 1990. Most people when they think of Albania imagine mobsters selling uranium or kidnapping people. I can tell you that Albania is a safe country. It’s poor by European standards which means it’s cheap, but more importantly, it hasn’t been destroyed my over tourism yet. I’d get in before it does.

We spent $4,805 travelling in July. We had a lot of fancy dinners and stayed in nice hotels for what amounted to $77 AUD per person per day. You could easily travel Albania for under $30 a day if you wanted. Gambling profits of $12,924.86 mean I was able to get closer to travel costs. This month, I’m travelling through Montenegro, Croatia and Bosnia. Hopefully, I have another good month and catch the red line.

Graph of gambling profits vs travel costs

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June 2018 Review – -$876.23 ($66,823.53 turnover)

What a crazy month! At one stage I thought I would be writing about a 10K losing month. Probet had his worst week in the history of the service which…

What a crazy month! At one stage I thought I would be writing about a 10K losing month. Probet had his worst week in the history of the service which saw me lose close to $9,000; only to recover almost entirely over the next two weeks. A wild ride and my first negative month since beginning the blog. A loss of $876.23 I’ll gladly take considering what it could have been.

 TurnoverProfit/LossPOT
Totals $66,823.53
-$876.23
-1.31%
AFL - Tipstar Tips $8,802.00

-$911.88


-10.4%
NRL - Sportpunter Tips $2,620.00

-$86.90

-3.3%

Horse Racing - Probet Tips $25,194.00

-$4,772.14


-18.9%

Golf - Swingform $3,074.00



$722.45


23.5%

Darts - ontheoche $4,303.00


$1,550.13

36.0%

AFL - non-tip Bets $11,812.42
$668.52


5.7%

NRL - non-tip Bets $8,847.16
$1,373.84

15.5%


Horse racing - non-tip bets $1,900.01
$520.69


27.4%

Other personal and promo bets
Account Adjustments $270.94
$59.06

21.8%

Graph of Gambling Loss for June

Tipster Bets

Psychological studies have shown people are affected by a loss much more greatly than a win. Gambling, like the stock market, sees too many amateurs bail following losses when they should have held their nerve. I’m willing to bet a number of Probet’s subscribers bailed after a shocking two weeks and missed the two great weeks that followed. Probet is generally going to dictate whether I have a good month or a poor month due to it being over 50% of my total tipster betting. To offset this a little, I may increase my darts and golf staking. Increasing Swingform stakes won’t be an issue, as I’m betting $35 per point; ontheoche however, I’m betting $300 per point. I can probably bet around $500 a point without too much issue, but the corporates may be reluctant to take anything greater.

Swingform continued his good run. He came close to having a great month, but a few selections fell short on the final day’s play. Ontheoche had a stellar run and is now in profit for the year. AFL Tipstar was doing nicely for the month but lost a number of points on the final weekend. I missed a lot of Sportpunter NRL tips this month as, by the time I had stirred from my drunken sleep, the odds were gone or I had missed the game. I bet almost $40,000 on tips in June, which on average should result in $4,000 per month given a 10% POT; however, all my tipsters are down on their long-term average.

 Turnover 2018 (all time)Profit / Loss 2018 (all time)POT 2018 (all time)
AFL Tipstar $17,972.00
$481.43
2.7%
NRL Sportpunter $19,827.00
$492.17
2.5%
Swingform $7,676.00
$1,328.60
17.3%
Ontheoche $5,653.00
$200.13
3.5%
Probet $91,244.04
($235,645.16)

-$118.16
($17,646.05)
-0.1%
(7.48%)

Asianconnect88’s Pinnacle is improving my tipping edge, for example:

  • GWS -7.5 @ 1.90, I took GWS -5.5 @ 1.934
  • Under 164.5 @ 1.90, I took Under 165.5 @ 1.909

An extra point on the line or totals is significant. Even the extra .09 (1.909 vs 1.90) will end up netting me an extra unit by the end of the year.

Personal and Promo Betting

I am still betting on one side of NRL “12 points up” and AFL “24 points up” against Betfair. There were two NRL games in the same weekend that I hit which was a nice boost. Have no idea when Bet365 will give me the flick, but I’ll keep making the most of the promotion in the meantime. I use Bet365 for mainly non-promo bets, so hopefully, that delays them restricting me. I would have loved to have promo accounts available for the World Cup. Sportsbet and Ladbrokes’ “lead at halftime and get paid” is a great matched betting opportunity.

I don’t know how many people check Topbetta for promotions. I almost missed it. On the last Saturday in June they ran their “No lose Saturday” promotion, up to $1000 in bonus bets. It’s based on cumulative losses. I made $1000 in bonus bets in the space of 20 minutes. Chucked $500 on two horses and laid the horses on Betfair, both horses lost, getting me $1000 in bonus bets for the loss of $70. They’ve run the promotion a few times, and in the past, I’ve often bet without laying, knowing if I ended up losing I would get 70% of my money back. They have also introduced GOAT margin boost which means you get paid as the winner if you come 2nd within the specified margin. Worth doing if they’ve got fixed odds on a Probet selection.

Backpacking the world with gambling profits

Haven’t had too much gambling time this month. Was quite drunk for a lot of June. With 0.5L of wine at restaurants in Greece and Turkey for under $10 AUD, it’s hard not to get pissed most nights. In June, I went to Crete, Rhodes, Kastellorizo, Kas (Turkey), Istanbul (Turkey), Thessaloniki, Mt Olympus and Corfu. We weren’t particularly budget focused in June and spent $6,634. Considering I made a loss, gambling is definitely not covering travels, but all I need is one good month. Currently writing this post from Himare in Albania. The stupid Schengen visa means we can’t spend too much time in Europe, so we’re hanging in the Balkans for the next two months. There are much worse places to be… good beaches and seafood plus it’s cheap.

I’m still confident the year will kick into gear and I’ll see a decent profit. If Probet finishes the year like last year, then I’ll easily close the gap on travel expenses and some.

Graph showing my goal to cover travelling expenses with gambling

4 Comments on June 2018 Review – -$876.23 ($66,823.53 turnover)

Why deductions in horse racing are a scam!

Horse racing deductions from corporate bookmakers in Australia is downright thievery. If you take fixed odds, I’m sure you’ve experienced that sinking feeling when the race caller mentions ‘deductions will…

Horse racing deductions from corporate bookmakers in Australia is downright thievery. If you take fixed odds, I’m sure you’ve experienced that sinking feeling when the race caller mentions ‘deductions will apply’. You should hate deductions, they’re unfair, plain and simple; not that they exist, but how the corporate bookmakers implement deductions. It’s a scam and I’ll explain why.

I’ll give you an example of a bet I made last week. I bet on a horse at $2.50 across three sites within a few minutes of each other. The horse won but deductions applied. I reluctantly checked my winnings knowing that this was going to be a frustrating moment.

  • Site 1 paid me at odds of $1.96
  • Site 2 paid me at odds of $1.84
  • Site 3 paid me at odds of $1.76

What the hell? Same horse, same time, same fixed odds; yet there is a 20% difference in my winnings. Surely deductions are calculated according to an industry standard: Nope! Deductions are calculated any way the bookies see fit.

How do bookmakers calculate deductions?

Online bookmakers use a fixed percentage deduction based on the horse’s odds at the time of scratching. The rate is decided on by the bookmaker with the exception of late scratchings. Late scratchings are applied according to Racing Australia rules after on-course bookmakers open the race, which always following the previous race closing. The below table was taken from TAB (see the full table, or other examples: Sportsbet, Bet365)

Deductions table from TAB

It seems simple but it’s not! Here’s why:

The fixed price deductions aren’t based on real odds, but inflated odds

Other horses inflated odds increase the deductions that apply to you. You may have chosen your horse at great odds, but other horses may be well below their odds and this will increase the deductions that apply to you. In addition, the odds include the bookmaker’s margin plus Racing Australia’s fees. When deductions apply, you get hit with margins and fees from your original bet plus from the horse that got scratched. You’re paying the bookies’ margin on a horse you didn’t even bet on! The below tables shows a market of 130% and the corresponding ‘real odds’.

 OddsMarket PercentageReal OddsReal Odds Market Percentage
Total Market130%100%
Horse 12.441.66%3.1331.91%
Horse 22.638.46%3.3929.46%
Horse 33.132.25%4.0424.70%
Horse 45.518.18%7.1813.93%

The bigger the market, the more the bookmaker profits from deductions

Bookmaker markets are never 100%, they are generally 130-140%, sometimes as high as 170% in early country races. When deductions apply, the bookmakers’ margins generally grow. Based on my calculations, the below table shows the impact of a scratching at $2.45 on Sportsbet and Crownbet, whose deductions are 31c and 38c (i.e. 31% and 38%) at different pre-scratching market percentages.

Market before deductions on odds of $2.45Sportsbet's market after deductionsCrownbet's market after deductions
120%115%128%
130%130%144%
140%144%160%

From the table above, the market can actually get better following a scratching on Sportsbet if the market is under 130%. On crownbet, their market improves always on scratching. As early markets are generally above 130%, it’s fair to say that bookies profit from scratchings. See the below real-life example (taken from a thread running on Punters, which makes for interesting reading).

Crownbet before / after deductions / now prices:
3 – $3.4 > $1.054 ($2.25)
4 – $17 > $5.27 ($7)
7 – $7.5 > $2.325 ($4.2)
9 – $26 > $8.06 ($10)
10 – $16 > $4.96 ($6)
11 – $81 > $25.11 ($26)
13 – $13 > $4.03 ($6)
New market percentage is 218.24%.

They deduct from the winnings including the stake (except Bet365)

Deductions can cause the new odds to be less than $1.00. Yes, that’s correct. You can lose money on a winning bet. Let’s assume this terrible market exists:

  1. Winx @ 1.16
  2. Hartnell @ 4.80
  3. Happy Clapper 3 @ 12
  4. Humidor @ 20

You bet on Hartnell @ 4.80. It rains heavily and Winx is scratched. On TAB, that’s an 80c in the dollar deduction. Hartnell wins and TAB pays you $96 for your $100 bet. After deductions, you lose $4 on a winning bet, but they ‘graciously’ call it evens. So you would make $0 on your winning bet. Ridiculous, isn’t it? This affects the punter more when betting on shorter fixed odds, as the stake is a greater part of the winnings.

It gets worse…

The system is open to manipulation. If you compare Sportsbet and Crownbet’s deduction table, you would say that it’s better to take the fixed odds on Sportsbet; however, this will most likely see you out of pocket. Sportsbet is notorious for deduction manipulation. Bookmakers manipulate deductions in the following ways:

  1. Leave horses in the market hours after they have been scratched (Sportsbet… looking at you)
  2. Pricing odds for emergency runners then deducting them when they aren’t included (Ladbrokes)
  3. Applying deductions but not taking into account the odds of the emergencies being added (all of them)
  4. Leaving horses very short when they expect it to be scratched (all of them)
  5. Inflating markets when deductions are expected. Check the rainy day market percentages, they are often raised to 170%. (all of them)
  6. Sportsbet and Ladbrokes deserve a special mention

Sportsbet

Sportsbet not only is one of the worst at deduction manipulation, but they also are known to incorrectly calculate deductions. They add the deductions together when multiple horses are scratched. Deductions should be taken incrementally, for example, if you bet on a horse @ $10 odds and deductions of 30c occur on Friday and 20c on Saturday, the deductions should be applied separately. The new odds following deductions should be $5.6 (10*0.7)*0.8= 5.6. However, Sportsbet adds the deductions together so your final odds are $5 10*(1-(0.3+0.2). This defies all logic and is simply a scam.

Ladbrokes

Who knows what they do. In my experience, they are always the worst results when deductions apply. Their live chat staff aren’t capable of explaining how Ladbrokes arrived at their deduction calculation and their terms and conditions don’t help. I would just avoid them.

How should deductions be applied?

I have two alternatives:

  1. Deductions based on real odds at time scratching. When you apply deductions using real odds, the bookmaker maintains their margin on the market without gaining an advantage. Neither the bookmaker nor the punter should gain an advantage. If deductions were calculated so neither party gained an advantage then the bookmakers wouldn’t be tempted to play games with scratched horses.
  2. Deductions applied at the odds when you placed the bets rather than the odds at scratching. For example, you bet on horse 1 on Friday at 9 pm, horse  2 is scratched on Saturday morning, the deductions would be calculated based on horse 2’s odds at 9 pm Friday. This would prevent odds manipulation at least.

What can you do about it?

Let’s face it, probably nothing. The bookmakers all want this extra bonus from fixed odds betting. The racing industry groups should care about fairness in punting, but they don’t. All they want is increased profits. Everyone, including the punter, is in it for the money, so there’s nobody to turn to. The important thing for the punter is to be aware of it and avoid the worst sites. The more people know about it, the more likely the industry will change.

These are the deductions based on a horse scratched at $2.60

Sportsbet: 30%

Bet365: 31%

Ladbrokes: 31%

Crownbet: 36%

TAB: 36%

Topsport: 36%

Be mindful of deduction manipulation, Sportsbet and Ladbrokes may appear a better bet, but they are the worst sites for deduction manipulation so I personally wouldn’t use them for fixed odd horse racing. Topsport and Crownbet have higher deductions, but work out better from my experience. Bet365 is by far the best site to take fix odds. They don’t deduct from the stake and have a relatively fair deductions table. Unfortunately, they ban winners, so your time on Bet365 will be limited if you are successful. It would be great if an Australian bookmaker stepped up as a legitimate sharp bookmaker and implemented a fair deductions system. I was hoping Topsport could be that company, but it’s not the case at the moment.

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Get Pinnacle Back: A guide to AsianConnect88

Many punters aren’t aware, you can get Pinnacle back through Asianconnect88 despite Pinnacle leaving your country. Losing Pinnacle was a sad day for many punters in Australia, UK*, US and other restricted…

Many punters aren’t aware, you can get Pinnacle back through Asianconnect88 despite Pinnacle leaving your country. Losing Pinnacle was a sad day for many punters in Australia, UK*, US and other restricted countries. I have written the below guide so punters know what to expect when signing up for betting agents like AsianConnect88.

How does AsianConnect88 work?

AsianConnect88 is a bet broker/agent, meaning they place bets on your behalf. They are the customer of Pinnacle, SBOBET, Matchbet NOT you. Many countries, like Australia, prevent punters signing up to overseas sites, but you can sign up through a broker. AsianConnect88 makes money from bookmakers giving them a small percentage of your turnover. It works the same as affiliate links and doesn’t have any effect on you. Once you have signed up and deposited, AsianConnect88 will create an account for you and transfer your money in. It may sound easy, but there are a few significant differences vs signing up with the sites directly.

What’s different?

  • Your account will be in euros.
  • Winning accounts don’t get banned!
  • Banking options require consideration otherwise fees and exchange rates will eat into your profits.
  • Depositing money will take more time. The fastest options are the most expensive. See the depositing money section for more info.
  • In some cases, you will be using different variants of the bookmaker’s site e.g. instead of www.pinnacle.com you’ll use a proxy site like www.pinbet88.com. The website address is different but markets and odds are the same.
  • You’ll spend a lot more time live chatting. Want the deposit options – live chat. Want to open a book – live chat.

Asianodds vs Mulitple Sportsbook

When you go to Asianconnect88’s website, the two options you need to understand under “Services” are Asianodds and Multiple Sportsbook.

Multiple Sportsbook

Asianconnect88 will give you an account in any of the following SBOBET, MAXBET, Pinnacle, GA288, Matchbook, BETISN, SingBet. You have to ask Asianconnect88 to open each account individually and deposit money separately into each bookmaker. Asianconnect88 will provide you with the login details for the individual site which you are opening. All markets are available as if you signed up directly with the bookmaker.

Asianconnect88's Pinnacle proxy

Asianconnect88’s Pinnacle proxy

Asianodds

An example bet on Asianodds

An example bet on Asianodds

The Asianodds platform allows you to bet on the best odds, across all supported sites, from the same account. Sounds ideal, doesn’t it? The catch is that it only supports football and basketball at this time.

From the screenshot, you can see that if you want to bet the handicap on Costa Rica, you can bet 201 euros @ 2.23. However, if you want to bet 301 euros, the extra 100 euros will be taken on Pinnacle @ 2.17. Therefore with one click, you have made two bets using the same funds. It also shows you the averaged odds, so you can easily add one line to your bet sheet.

I personally believe this is going to be the future of gambling. One money pool which can be used to take the best odds on the market. When the NBA season rolls around, I plan to use Asianodds heavily.

Depositing Money

Don’t deposit money directly into Asianconnect88 from your personal bank account. Not only will you pay exorbitant fees, but there’s a good chance your bank will suspend your account on suspicion of money laundering (I’ve seen it happen). All the cheap (and recommended) options are going to take a week to get money on. You could use your credit card with Neteller/Skrill and deposit within an hour, but it’s going to be expensive.

Payment OptionDeposit Fees by ACDeposit money in Australian dollarsCurrency exchange feeTransfer to AC
SkrillFreeBank Transfer: Free
Mastercard: 2.25%
Visa: 1.90%
3.99% Free
NetellerFreeBank Transfer: Free
Visa/Mastercard: 1.9%
3.99%Free
Bank transfer (using TransferWise)199 euros or less: 1%
200 to 1999 euros: 15 euros
Greater than 2000: Free
Free (bank transfer)0.45%Free
Bitcoin (coinjar)FreeFree (bpay)AUD to Bitcoin = 1%Amount lost on conversion will vary.

The best deposit method is… well that depends.

0 – 200 euros: Transferwise

200 – 310 euros: Neteller, Skrill

Over 310 euros: Transferwise

I didn’t get charged for my first deposit. I emailed Asianconnect88 to ask why and they said all first bank deposits are free. Following deposits by bank transfer will incur fees for under 2000 euros. Neteller and Skrill change their fees all the time and also run various promotions, so check their websites. Transferwise is a service I came across recently and it’s a great idea. I won’t go into their service in detail, but they offer a low-cost exchange service with the ability to hold bank accounts in foreign countries. I have a real bank account with them in Europe, meaning I can send and receive euros without exchanging money. I’m not afflilated in any way, just enjoy their work.

Bitcoin is not included in my best deposit methods as the rates are unknown. If you want to use Bitcoin, you can transfer BTC into their wallet. Asianconnect88 will then contact you with the proposed exchange rates for you to confirm. They use multiple undisclosed third party exchanges to sell BTC into euros (I asked them the names of the exchanges but they wouldn’t tell me).

A step-by-step guide to using Asianconnect88

  1. Go to AsianConnect88. (affiliate link: see the disclaimer at the end of this post)
  2. Sign up. They offer a bonus, but the conditions aren’t particularly favourable, so I wouldn’t be too concerned about the bonus unless you have a really high turnover. The turnover requirement is 10x. The bonus is 20% of your initial deposit up to 400 euros and will appear once you have bet your deposit amount 10x.
  3. You will be sent an email will an activation link which forces you to change your password. You are then redirected to their support page.
  4. Compare your deposit options. Live chat and request information on your required deposit method.
  5. Deposit.
  6. Asianconnect88 will send you an email once they have received your deposit and request further instructions.
  7. Live chat or email what books you would like opened e.g. Pinnacle, matchbook etc and how you would like the deposit distributed between books. They will only open the books which you are transferring money into.
  8. Asianconnect88 will provide you with the URL, username and one-time password for the bookmaker(s) you requested. The URL provided to me for Pinnacle was www.ps3838.com.

What you need to know

  • Pinnacle’s max bet is lower! The maximum you can bet at odds is a decent amount lower when using AsianConnect88’s Pinnacle proxy than Pinnacle… but you can bet again once the odds readjust. This is same way Pinnacle always worked; it states the amount they will accept at the odds. If you take the full amount, the odds will drop for everyone, but you can bet again at the lower odds. It’s the same with the proxy site except for the amount of money required before the odds readjust is lower. I asked Asianconnect88 about this, they replied it was entirely controlled by Pinnacle. For a single bet, I could get 212 euros on early AFL markets and 424 euros on more established AFL markets.
  • The proxy sites aren’t geoblocked anywhere.
  • The proxy sites have the same markets and odds as the real sites.
  • You can get trial accounts, just ask them. It’s quite difficult to understand how Asianconnect88 works until you use it (although hopefully, this post helps). They set me up with a $0 account of Asianodds for a 2 day trial.
  • You can make live bets through Asianconnect88.
  • When using Asianodds you need to check that bets are properly placed. Singbet, in particular, has a tendency to appear to accept your bet but will actually be “unconfirmed”. Asianconnect88 suggests that you can disable Singbet from your active bookmakers in settings.

Review of AsianConnect88

The good:

  • Get access to restricted sites, including Pinnacle.
  • Winning accounts don’t get banned.
  • Same odds and markets available when opening individual sportsbooks.
  • All support staff were extremely helpful and responsive.
  • Didn’t see any queues for their live chat.
  • Trial accounts are available.
  • Long-running service.

The bad:

  • Have to manage accounts in euros and convert constantly when updating your spreadsheet.
  • Need to plan deposits in advance as the whole process will take you about a week to get money on.
  • Max bet limits at odds prevent me from getting on large stakes at quoted odds.

For medium to big-time punters, it’s definitely worth signing up and getting Pinnacle back. I’ve been using it with AFL Tipstar, who bets earlier than game day, but I’ve been able to beat the Aussie corporates a number of times. The odds and bet limits aren’t as good for early markets compared to gameday, but on gameday, they more often than not have the sharpest lines. It’s another tool in my betting arsenal.

Bet brokers are a way punters can fight back against government’s protectionist policies and avoid corporate bookmakers’ account restrictions. Hopefully, more foreign bookmakers join bet brokers in the coming years so we can have real competition in the market. Even though bet brokers have been around for many years, they aren’t mainstream. Their websites don’t provide the level of information needed to understand their services, so I hope this post helps.

* UK residents are no longer able to sign up to Pinnacle through Asianconnect88.

Disclaimer: AsianConnect88 links are affiliate links. This means I may make a small amount if you sign up through my links. You aren’t disadvantaged in any way. I’d be grateful if you sign up through the links if you found this article helpful. 

7 Comments on Get Pinnacle Back: A guide to AsianConnect88

May 2018 Review – $3,871.54 ($73,926.98 turnover)

May was saved by a spectacular return to form from Probet. At one stage, during the month I was down almost 3k. The profit for May ended up $3,871.54 with a…

May was saved by a spectacular return to form from Probet. At one stage, during the month I was down almost 3k. The profit for May ended up $3,871.54 with a turnover of $73,926.98. My tipster portfolio is finally well-balanced and performing well which is reassuring. My turnover is migrating away from promo betting to tipster betting. All in all, I’m feeling good about gambling.

 TurnoverProfit/LossPOT
Totals $73,926.98
$3,871.54
5.2%
AFL - Tipstar Tips $7,172.00

$849.30

11.8%

NRL - Sportpunter Tips $6,510.00
-$1,159.40
-17.8%
Horse Racing - Probet Tips $22,394.54
$5,011.44

22.4%

Golf - Swingform $4,192.00

-$1,313.20

-31.3%

Darts - ontheoche $1,350.00

-$1,350.00
-100.0%
AFL - non-tip Bets $17,685.77
$2,083.30

11.8%

NRL - non-tip Bets $10,705.31
$182.99

1.7%

Horse racing - non-tip bets $2,958.21
-$283.56

-9.6%

Other personal and promo bets $300.49
-$7.99
-2.7%
Account Adjustments $658.66
-$141.34
-21.5%

Gambling profit for May 2018

Tipster Bets

All my tipsters are performing pretty well now for the year to the end of May; AFL Tipstar 15.2%, NRL Sportpunter 3.4%, Probet 7.0%, Swingform 13.2%.  The last two weeks by Probet was smashing. The changes Probet has made to his model don’t appear to have any negative effects on POT (although still early days).

I added ontheoche (darts) to my tipping portfolio in May. There’s money in niche sports as bookmakers struggle to get the markets correct. Ignore the -100% POT; I’m staking his points at $300 a unit and the first few tips all happened to lose. I have been able to get on all his tips pretty easily, and often above the recorded odds, so I’m pretty happy with the service so far.

Personal and Promo Betting

Promo betting for May was still a significant portion of turnover. I only have 1 account which I can bet the 24 point promos, which means I have to bet it against Betfair. Luckily I hit a few AFL promos in May making it a good month. For punters with active accounts, note that Sportsbet and Bet365 are still running their 24 points up (12 points up for NRL) promos. I would say long-term POT on the promo is above 10%, so definitely worth betting as much as can (even if you have to take the promo on only one side).

I went through my accounts and fixed up any discrepancies, that’s why there are account adjustments listed. Unless it’s something major, I just put them in my bet sheet as lost or won bets.

What else have I been doing?

Now that I am reasonably happy with my tipster portfolio, I have been investigating bet brokers. Although I am promo banned on many sites, I’m only bet limited on a few. But that will change so I’m preparing for the Aussie books shutting me down. Bet Brokers are intermediaries that allow you to bet on sites that you aren’t technically a member of. The broker is the member and they are technically betting for you; so you’re effectively an anonymous user of the bookmaker. The advantages of this are that you can sign up to foreign sites and you won’t get bet limited. The downsides are that your account will be in a foreign currency and there’s another learning curve to master.

Through AsianConnect88 and SportMarket you can get access to Pinnacle, Betfair, Matchbook, Betdaq, SBOBet, BetISN, Singbet and MaxBet. Sportmarket allows you to place bets on any of their bookmakers through the same platform, but unfortunately, they don’t have a lot of markets. They don’t have AFL, NRL, darts or golf, so at this stage, they are of little useless to me. Asianconnect88 sets up access through proxy sites which gives you all markets, but it means you have to deposit money into each bookmaker separately. I have started using AsianConnect88 and I am writing a post on how to sign up and get Pinnacle back. There are a number of considerations when using bet brokers in foreign currencies, so keep an eye out for my upcoming post. It will tell you the cheapest way to get money to them and other things you need to know.

I updated the site in May to include tipster reviews and wrote an opinion piece on what I believe makes a good tipster. I also got listed in Top 50 Betting Blogs to Follow in 2018… number 46! The blog is actually starting to attract some attention (outside of my facebook friends) which is good. Asianconnect88 emailed me and asked if I wanted to be an affiliate. I was planning on joining anyway, so signed up to be an affiliate as well. I don’t expect to make much money from it but you never know.

Backpacking the world with gambling profits

I spent May in India and Greece, two places which really couldn’t be more different. The short of it is, India is really not for me. The pollution, the crowds and lack of decent drinking establishments all weighed on me. Greek island hopping… well, who wouldn’t enjoy that. Milos, in particular, was simply fantastic. The beaches were unique and stunning and the seafood was out of this world. In Greece, we’ve met up with some friends who are on holidays for one month. Therefore we aren’t really following any kind of budget. Luckily the wine is cheap in Greece otherwise we’d be spending a fortune.

Greece and India both have restrictions on gambling sites but they block different sites. One thing I’ve noticed is that geoblocking and country firewalls are all over the shop. For instance, in India, you can’t access WilliamHill or Betfair (on a desktop), in Greece, I can access WilliamHill but not Betfair on any platform. My VPNs get me around any blocks but it’s interesting. Greece also restricts access to Unibet and Sportsbet restricts access through geoblocking. I’ve had sim cards in both India and Greece so I haven’t felt it that challenging to get bets on.

Month/YearGambling ProfitTravelling ExpensesDifference
Total$11,705.79$18,644.65-$6,938.86
February 2018$360.16$2,784.27-$2,424.11
March 2018$5,396.77 $5,197.96$198.81
April 2018$2,077.32 $3,707.28-$1,629.96
May 2018$3,871.54$6,955.14-$3,083.6

May gambling vs travel graph

As we are travelling with friends and are living it up, our daily costs have gone up to about $300 per day (for a couple). It’s going to be difficult to keep up with travel costs I suspect, but you never know. I’m currently on Crete and over the next few weeks will be going to Rhodes, Kastellorizo, Kas (Turkey) and then Istanbul.

I’m still on the outlook for new tipsters on markets other than AFL, Darts and golf. So if anyone has any tipster recommendations, I’d be keen to hear. Let me know in the comments or by private message through email, facebook or twitter.

Disclaimer: The AsianConnect88 links are affiliate links, meaning if you sign up through the link, there is a small possibility I will make a few cents. You aren’t disadvantaged in any way. 

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A guide to finding a good tipster

Bookmakers create betting markets using in-house statistical modelling. As they know their models aren’t 100% efficient they give themselves some leeway (about 8-10% in sports and 20% for racing) and…

Bookmakers create betting markets using in-house statistical modelling. As they know their models aren’t 100% efficient they give themselves some leeway (about 8-10% in sports and 20% for racing) and challenge the general public to do better. A good tipster is someone who has created a better model and pits it against the bookmakers. Beating the bookmakers’ model plus their built-in leeway is no mean feat. Some tipsters have so much promise only for you to find their model was profitable simply due to statistical variance (luck). Some tipsters are downright scammers. Only a small percentage of tipsters actually have long-term winning systems.

With such a small percentage of good tipsters in the market, it becomes critical to evaluate potential tipsters quickly and efficiently.

What makes a good tipster?

In my quest to increase my profits through tipsters, as you can read about in April’s monthly post, I thought it prudent to work out a rating system. The below system I feel can work for professional punters as well as beginners. As the point system has subjective categories, its adaptable for everyone. For example, the satisfactory bookmakers and market depth will be completely different for a punter who has access to soft bookmakers and bets < $500, where it would be unacceptable for big players who only use sharp bookmakers.

 DescriptionPoints
Total score out of 100
History of the service2 points for every year the service has been running (max 20 points).
Service Profit on Turnover (POT)2 points for every % POT (max 20 points).
Odds taken vs recorded oddsYou get the odds:
* <85% (0 points)
* 85% - 100% (5 points)
* approx 100% (10 points)
* approx 100% and sometimes beat recorded odds (15 points)
* often beat recorded odds (20 points).
Bookmaker availability Bookmaker required for tips are available to you (1-10, with 10 being entirely satisfied).
Market depthMarket has enough depth to bet your desired amounts (1-10, 10 being entirely satisfied).
Customer serviceResponsive to emails and general service housekeeping e.g. updating results (1-10, 10 being entirely satisfied).
Effort required. Number of bets and convenient release time for tips (1-10, where 10 is minimal effort).

Questions you must ask before joining any tipster

  • Does the service have a history of being profitable?
  • Are the results downloadable? Extra points for XML. Lies, Damn Lies and Statistics. People who offer XML downloadable results often have less to hide.
  • What banking system are they using for their results? If you can download the results in XML, play around with the data. Are they flat staking? Exponential staking? Has the service ever lost their bank?
  • Are the results believable? No service is going to profitable every month, some won’t even be profitable every year.
  • Is the tipster making promises their tips can’t cash? I’m not going to join a service where the tipster doesn’t acknowledge the role of variance and how it can effect your bank.
  • Has the tipster renamed their service after losing their clients’ bank? Search for the service name + forum, this is usually the easiest way to discover if the tipster has previously held a failed service. If you find out the service has failed and renamed then stop researching, they can’t be trusted.
  • How high is the Profit on Turnover (POT)? How much do you want to make? This becomes important with liquidity in some markets. If service is running 2%, that may be OK for some big players if the market is liquid.
  • How do they record odds? This can be a bugbear. Services that record odds in a reasonable way make me very happy. Some decent methods are highest odds 30 minutes after tips are sent or removing soft bookmakers from odds being recorded.
  • Does the tipster set bank guidelines? Are they reasonable enough to suggest that the tipster is responsible with your money?
  • Do they advise when tips are released? Will you be available at that time (assuming the tips are time sensitive)?

Your responsibility

It must be a frustrating job being a good tipster. Dealing with the stupid questions, repeating yourself 1000 times and the fickle complaints.

Even the best tipsters probably only make money for 70% of their clients. The reasons are completely out of the control of a good tipster. These are your responsibilities, and if you can’t manage these rules, you probably shouldn’t be using tipsters in the first place.

  1. Do your best to bet tips quickly. I would say 15 minutes is reasonable. If you can’t get the odds consistently within 15 minutes then I say your tipster is oversubscribed and that’s their fault.
  2. Don’t bet the tip if you miss the odds. I will take a tip at odds minus historical POT and above. If the service’s POT is 10%, and the tip comes out at $2 odds, I’ll take the odds at $1.90 and above. If you constantly take odds below this then you will lose money.
  3. Set up alerts for tips. Be smart about getting on tips fast. Within the Gmail app, you can set VIP emails, which can be set to bypass your volume settings. I personally have a different notification for emails involving tips and a 1-minute reminder in case I missed the initial alert.
  4. Have all sites available. If you only have signed up for 3-4 sites, you aren’t going to get the best odds. Don’t complain to your tipster. I realise some corporates will bet limit you, but there are many sites out, some bookmakers you might not have heard of.
  5. Use odds comparison sites to get the best odds. Don’t check manually! By the time you have reviewed every site, the odds may have dropped. Consider using sites like dynamic odds which will place the bet (on your accounts) on the best odds available.
  6. Know how to use a bank. Be prepared to lose your bank! This is a tricky one, as most people start with a bank which they really aren’t prepared to lose. Don’t blame the tipster if you bail because misjudged your balls.
  7. Have reasonable expectations.
  8. Be patient through the bad times. Your tipster is probably betting his own tip and losing more money than you.
  9. You don’t have to follow the tipsters’ tips exactly as long as your approach is formulaic. It actually doesn’t make a difference if you don’t take tips based on your own opinions, however, it does mean you probably aren’t cut out for profitable gambling. If you flipped a coin and bet the tip only when it was on heads, then you aren’t doing any real damage, just halving your POT.
    Acceptable variations in my opinion:

    • Stake tips differently.
    • Not betting bet tips above/below a certain odds value. This is a contentious one, but after reviewing past history of the service, you may find that the service produces better results at certain odds. Often you won’t have enough data to know whether your theory is just statistical variance.
    • Taking the tips in certain months or times of the sporting season. Some services may perform better at the start or end of the season. This may be because bookmakers models aren’t optimal at the start of a season.

Some of the above form the basis of serious gambling which I’ve covered previously.

What score should you expect for a good tipster?

You can make your own acceptable score based on how harsh a judge you are. Personally, I consider 80 points and above to be acceptable.

Examples:

Probet

 DescriptionPoints
Total score out of 10091
History of the service2 points for every year the service has been running (max 20 points). 20
Service Profit on Turnover (POT)2 points for every % POT (max 20 points).20
Odds taken vs recorded oddsYou get the odds:
* <85% (0 points)
* 85% - 100% (5 points)
* approx 100% (10 points)
* approx 100% and sometimes beat recorded odds (15 points)
* often beat recorded odds (20 points).
15
Bookmaker availability Bookmaker required for tips are available to you (1-10, with 10 being entirely satisfied).8
Market depthMarket has enough depth to bet your desired amounts (1-10, 10 being entirely satisfied).10
Customer serviceResponsive to emails and general service housekeeping e.g. updating results (1-10, 10 being entirely satisfied).8
Effort requiredNumber of bets and convenient release time for tips (1-10, where 10 is minimal effort).10

I have used Probet for a few years, it runs at over 10% POT. You have to take the tips quite quickly, but it’s fairly stress-free with only around 10 tips per week.

Sportpunter AFL model through Daily Profit

 DescriptionPoints
Total score out of 10074
History of the service2 points for every year the service has been running (max 20 points). 20
Service Profit on Turnover (POT)2 points for every % POT (max 20 points).12
Odds taken vs recorded oddsYou get the odds:
* <85% (0 points)
* 85% - 100% (5 points)
* approx 100% (10 points)
* approx 100% and sometimes beat recorded odds (15 points)
* often beat recorded odds (20 points).
5
Bookmaker availability Bookmaker required for tips are available to you (1-10, with 10 being entirely satisfied).10
Market depthMarket has enough depth to bet your desired amounts (1-10, 10 being entirely satisfied).10
Customer serviceResponsive to emails and general service housekeeping e.g. updating results (1-10, 10 being entirely satisfied).10
Effort requiredNumber of bets and convenient release time for tips (1-10, where 10 is minimal effort).7

The AFL model I recently dropped as it wasn’t above 80 points in my rating system. The service provided by Daily Profit provides tips at a reduced cost compared to Sportpunter, but 30 minutes after Sportpunter users get the tips. Therefore the odds are on a slide when tips are released. Sportpunter is probably the longest running reliable AFL service; however, through Daily Profit it’s not worthwhile for me. I may consider joining Sportpunter at some stage.

Tipsters I have used personally

Tipping services I currently use:

Tipping services I have used previously:

Tipping services that have sadly passed away

  • AFL Investor (AFL fantasy). The service was only $99 for the whole season. It had a POT of around 15%, which was incredible. Disappeared without a trace. No response to emails and the domain was let go.
  • Premium on Betedge (harness racing). Free tipster using a tipping platform called Betedge. He more often than not beat the Starting Price (SP) and picked some winners at huge odds. Betedge website crashed and never recovered. I have looked for a way to contact premium but to no avail. I really miss the degen nature of harness racing. If anyone knows how to get in contact with Premium, I would love to discuss how we can resurrect his tips.
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April 2018 Review – $2,077.32 ($45,830.65 turnover)

Turnover in April was a respectable $45,830.65 considering I was trekking through the Everest region for the majority. Profit was $2,077.32 which was largely due to a smashing first week…

Turnover in April was a respectable $45,830.65 considering I was trekking through the Everest region for the majority. Profit was $2,077.32 which was largely due to a smashing first week of my new tipster, Swingform. It could have been a great month, but I either missed tips or didn’t follow them correctly whilst trekking. I also made changes to my tipster portfolio in the last week of April which I’ll explain.

 TurnoverProfit/LossROI
Totals$45,830.65 $2,077.32 4.5%
AFL - Sportpunter Tips $2,910.00


$687.20
23.6%

AFL - Tipstar Tips $1,998.00
$544.01
27.2%
NRL - Sportpunter Tips $5,007.00
$70.67
1.4%
Horse Racing - Probet Tips $9,625.00
-$890.16
-9.2%
Golf - Jeremy Chapman Tips $450.00

-$319.50
-71.0%
Golf - Swingform $410.00
$1,919.35
468.1%
Mistakes $500.00
-$500.00-100.0%
AFL - non-tip Bets $11,770.39

$952.63
8.1%
NRL - non-tip Bets $10,815.82
-$324.93
-3.0%
Horse racing - non-tip bets $2,344.44
-$61.95
-2.6%
Other personal and promo bets$0$0$0

Graph of gambling profits for April

Tipster Bets

The numbers reflect poorly on Probet who actually had a good month. I missed a solid day when I was in Gokyo. The Internet around Everest is provided by point to point microwave links down the mountain. If any point fails, everything above it loses internet. This meant I missed two winning tips. A third winning tip, a bet of $500, I placed on the wrong horse after a few beers. It happens, still annoying. So instead of being up a few thousand, Probet was down for April in my books.

NRL and AFL Sportpunter models performed quite well in April. I stopped placing NRL line bets for about two weeks for no apparent reason during my trek. I’m blaming the altitude. Towards the end of April, I ditched the AFL model for a few reasons. The main reason being that the odds get smashed in as it’s a popular tipster and the tips are released at the wrong time for me. I’m not waking up at 4 am to place bets (holiday takes priority). I’m keeping the NRL model since it has done admirably over the last couple of years and I don’t have an alternative.

New and Discarded Tipsters

I removed Jeremy Chapman’s golf tips and AFL Sportpunter model from my portfolio. Jeremy Chapman’s tips were having a torrid few weeks, but that’s the not reason. I decided I cannot follow tips where odds aren’t provided and there’s no accountability. AFL Sportpunter I dropped for the reasons previously mentioned.

I added Swingform at the end of April. It’s been around for a few years and you can download all results from their website. In my first week of tips, I lucked out. Hit the winner of the Volvo China Open at $55 odds on Betfair. Golf is an interesting one to bet on, I’ll explain in an article I will release soon on tipsters. I can easily get better win odds on Betfair. The advantage of a tipster you can use with Betfair is that I’ll never get account restricted if he tips well. Solid start which basically put me up 2k for the month, otherwise, it would have been break even.

The next tipster I added in April was AFLTipstar (yes Tipstar, not tipster). The service was previously free on twitter, but in the last two years, it has been a paid service, at quite a reasonable price. I have now had two weeks betting on the service and it meets my criteria. I can get/beat his odds and a great thing about the service is that it generally releases all tips at once. It tells you the line, total and score that the model is predicting and recommends a tip based on the data. This also means if the odds shift there may be opportunities to bet based on the information given. I’m staking at $150 a point, with the maximum bet so far being 3 units.

Promotional/Personal Betting

Very light month for personal betting. I was promo banned on Pointsbet without being notified (not surprised, given their reputation). I hit one promo on AFL before being banned and got lucky with a random first goalscorer ‘fun bet’. I was travelling every Saturday so wasn’t able to bet or watch any Saturday racing. An uneventful month. I was hoping May would be better for racing turnover, but the internet in India is a battle… so we’ll see.

Backpacking the world with gambling profits

Ended up making it to Everest Base Camp and then across the Cho La pass to Gokyo. The Himalayas are frickin awesome! The altitude gets to you though hence some bets I placed remain unexplainable. I’m still in reaching distance of the Himalayas, in Dalhousie, India. Gambling whilst travelling recently has got me a little discouraged, I’m taking some tips at lower prices due to getting them late and questioning whether I can still be profitable. I think the real problem is just India is not a great country for internet usage or gambling. Indian local laws restrict gambling hence a number of sites geo block India e.g. Betfair (on the mobile site, not the desktop site), Williamhill. Despite having a sim card, India is not an easy country for internet access. This will improve as I head to Europe. I was also enheartened when I checked last years profit by May and I’m actually ahead than this time last year, and 2017 ended up to be a great year.

Month/YearGambling ProfitTravelling ExpensesDifference
Total$7,834.25$11,689.51-$3,855.26
February 2018$360.16$2,784.27-$2,424.11
March 2018$5,396.77 $5,197.96198.81
April 2018$2,077.32 $3,707.28-$1,629.96

Travel expenses vs gambling profits

As you can see the travel expenses are escaping me a little. One good month and I’ll catch up. Last month I wrote I hoped to place a bet at Base Camp. Sadly this wasn’t possible. While I had reception almost the entire way, mobile data isn’t available. One day soon though you’ll be able to sit at base camp and satisfy your degen urges.

For the first half of May, I’ll be killing time in India. I’m not particularly excited about India and will try to stay in the cooler hill stations. The second half of May I am very excited about… Greek island hopping. Bring on some wine and olives. In May I also hope to explore two new tipping services, Ontheoche and BetAlchemist. I’m highly dubious of Bet Alchemist, a UK racing service, despite Secret Betting Club giving it their seal of approval. Ontheoche is a niche darts service and has a long history. I will rethink my staking across tipsters as well, as I want a balanced portfolio to lower variance. That’s my homework for the month.

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March 2018 Review – $5,396.77 ($74,244.84 turnover)

Although I had a tidy profit of $5,396.77 for March, it was less than ideal for my long-term strategy. Promotional betting did the heavy lifting whereas my tipster services performed relatively…

Although I had a tidy profit of $5,396.77 for March, it was less than ideal for my long-term strategy. Promotional betting did the heavy lifting whereas my tipster services performed relatively poorly. I’m still confident I can make a consistent profit following tipsters; I’m not going to make too many judgements based on one months’ results. My days of promotional betting are numbered so I need to up my game! Compared to February, I had a much higher turnover of $74,244.84. NRL and AFL seasons kicked off and Thailand was much more gambler friendly compared to Indonesia. The internet is much better and Thailand doesn’t block one’s internet freedom. 

 TurnoverProfit/LossROI
Totals $74,244.84
$5,396.77
7.27%
AFL Tips $1,255.00
-$935.00
-74.50%
NRL Tips $5,690.00
$1,255.30
22.06%
Horse Racing Tips $14,275.00
-$1,995.25
-13.98%
Golf Tips $1,862.50
-$1,737.50
-93.3%
AFL non-tip Bets $10,926.00
$1,728.04
15.8%
NRL non-tip Bets $23,645.80
$3,724.12
15.7%
Horse racing non-tip bets $11,114.90
$2,652.48
23.9%
Other personal and promo bets$5,475.64$704.5812.86%

Gambling profits for march

Tipster Bets

I follow the Sportpunter model for NRL and AFL. The tips are released around 6:00 am Thailand time and 4:00 am in India. I trialled waking up placing the bets quickly and going back to sleep. The mental energy required to find the right odds and place bets meant it took me about 30 minutes to get back to sleep which wasn’t acceptable so I ditched that approach quickly. Because of this I often missed the odds I needed and didn’t place a number of bets. The service makes about 5% ROI historically, therefore the odds don’t have to drop that much before the tip is unviable. My results are going to vary from the service itself, which I’m fine with. When I get to Europe the tips will be released at friendlier times. Combined NRL and AFL tips netted $320.30 for March.

It was another below average month for my horse racing tipster making a loss of -$1,995.25. I’m not concerned about my horse racing tipster, Probet. Bad months are to be expected and he’ll return to profit. The service has a long history of being in profit. Last year the service was down $6,000 at one stage and ended up making me $17,000 for the year. That’s why it’s important not to be emotionally attached when following tipping services. Do your research, ensure the service is successful long-term and the odds are attainable then detach yourself from the money. He only places about 7-10 bets per week and I stake them fairly high, with 4% (max stake) being $1120. Max stake tips are fairly rare though. Building up your comfort level with losses of $1,000 takes some time. I plan on writing a post on the tipsters I trust and have used over the years, so make sure you subscribe so you don’t miss out.

This month I also started following Jeremy Chapman’s golf tips which are released in the Racing and Football Outlook. It has a small subscription fee of a few dollars per month. There are no historical results to review but a few other blogs I read claimed his tips were quite profitable over the last two years. Considering there is no historical performance data to review, I probably started staking it too high. Golf is an extremely high variance sport to bet on, where a few 71-1 shots can shoot you into profit. Unfortunately, in the first three weeks, I’ve crapped out (if you haven’t played Craps, I’m sure you still get the gist). I’m betting $50 a point, increasing/reducing $5 for every $500 he wins/loses.

Promotional/Personal Betting

I signed up to Pointsbet before the start of NRL. They are trying to emulate the other soft bookmakers and attract problem gamblers using promotional marketing. Australia is crying out for a low margin professional bookmaker that accepts large bets, but every site prefers to focus on attracting problem gamblers. I don’t understand why, as it’s not an easy market with only Sportsbet making money in Australia. I hope to do my bit to make it a loss-making exercise for them. I have been betting with them for 4 weeks, making sure I place some non-promotional bets when the odds are decent. They haven’t banned me yet, but I doubt I’ll last another month.

This meant I had two sites which had promotions with high or no maximum bets, and I hit them pretty hard. NRL and AFL both had a number of come-from-behind results which netted a total of $5452.16. I’m aiming to win around $500 to $1000 every time their promotions hits. While I’m not complaining about the free money, I really need my tipping services to take over from the promotional betting.

Horse racing was also very profitable. I continued my high variance approach of not laying the bets I place on horse racing promotions. Betting.club and Bet365 had bonus/money back on selected races each Saturday. Topbetta had some decent racing promotions as well. I have also been loosely following Joshua Reed’s twitter tips when placing bets on promotional races. He had a good month and therefore I had a good month.

I had downtime in Thailand as we weren’t travelling fast. So I watched a decent amount of NRL games and placed some degen bets which came through. West Tigers beating Storm in Melbourne made me a nice little packet of money.

Backpacking the world with gambling profits

Before we discuss money, let’s talk travel. I’m currently sitting in Nepal preparing to hike up to Everest Base Camp (EBC). My partner and I spent the last week in Assam, India. Assam was fantastic, the food was unbelievably good and the people were super friendly. Don’t know about the rest of India yet, but Assam definitely dispelled some myths I had heard about India e.g. that the curries are watery and everyone wants to rip you off. You can check out our travel posts if you’re interested. Before that, we were in Thailand and I was just hitting the gym in prep for EBC.

Despite not moving very quickly for the first three weeks, March was an expensive travel month. We took three flights in March, Bali to Thailand, Thailand to Guwahati (India) and I went from Guwahati to Kathmandu. Three flights and visas blew out our budget of $60 per day each.

Month/YearGambling ProfitTravelling ExpensesDifference
Total$5,756.93$7,982.23-$2,225.3
February 2018$360.16$2,784.27-$2,424.11
March 2018$5,396.77 $5,197.96198.81

I covered our travel expenses in March! Still down on the total, but April should be a relatively cheap month.

My partner is doing her Yoga teachers training for a month which I don’t consider a travel expense, so I just need to cover EBC. I expect April to have a low turnover, as I won’t have my PC for two weeks, therefore no VPN. Bet365 will allow me to bet overseas, but not many other sites do. The blog will also be pretty quiet during April. I purchased a sim card in Nepal for about $15 that comes with 5 Gb. I did the same in Thailand and it makes life easy placing tips. I’m curious to see how far up the mountain my reception will last. If I get reception at base camp, I’d love to place a bet. If I do, I’ll let you know on twitter.

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